Feeling Good About America: The 1976 Presidential Election
Friday, October 28 at 3, 6 & 11pm & Saturday, October 29 at 7am
By 1976, it seemed America was finally on the right track. The Vietnam War and the assassinations of several important political figures were behind us. Vice President Spiro Agnew’s corruption was fading from the public’s memory, and the crimes of Watergate forced Nixon to resign from the presidency. Americans were ready to be normal again. A new feeling was sweeping coast to coast as people pulled together to celebrate the nation’s bicentennial, and to select a new president who could help close the book on an awful decade. Feeling Good About America: The 1976 Presidential Election chronicles the race between incumbent Republican President Gerald Ford and Democratic candidate and Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter, who stepped onto the national stage touting his outsider status and promising, “I’ll never lie to you.” The documentary explores Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon, the anti-establishment sentiment surging through the country, Carter’s primary strategy in a crowded field, and the challenge to Ford by Ronald Reagan for the Republican nomination. Using a combination of archival clips and interviews, the film examines this close race and discusses how the 1976 Presidential election was the last time in which the country wasn’t polarized in the manner it is today. The documentary features: historian and author Douglas Brinkley; political analyst Larry J. Sabato; journalist and political commentator Fred Barnes; Carter’s National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski; and President Ford’s son, Jack Ford; among many others.